Students Named National Merit Scholars

By: Jessica Dealy Email
By: Jessica Dealy Email

Over 1.5 million bright high school students entered the 2010 competition for the National Merit Program recognition and scholarships.

Less than a quarter of students make it through the preliminary qualifications that include high scores on the PSAT.

Three finalists are products of the Lauderdale County School District.
One scholar attends Southeast High School, while the other two attend West Lauderdale.

"I was really excited to hear that all the National Merit finalists in our county were from county schools," said Sarah Catherine Billups, a senior at West Lauderdale.

"I was named a semifinalist, then they sent me a note about a month ago that I was a finalist," said Trent Workman, a senior at Southeast Lauderdale. "And I think only about 16,000 people get it in the whole nation."

"I was pretty relieved, because it means I get a lot more scholarship money," said Jared Mowdy, a West Lauderdale senior. "It makes it a little bit easier on my family, so I was excited about it."

"I was so excited and thrilled," said Billups. "I'm the first person in my family to receive this honor and we're just thrilled in my family. And it's great for our school."

Teachers in over 21,000 high schools provide the essential help needed in order for their students to participate in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

"They do everything to the best of their ability and represent our school very well," said senior English teacher Sandy Reid of West Lauderdale. "And in fact, seeing that they are National Merit Scholars, they represent our state very well."

In the fall, Workman has a full ride scholarship to Mississippi State University and plans to study computer science.

Mowdy is also going to MSU with a scholarship. He'll study civil engineering.

Billups plans to stud English at Vanderbilt University, also on scholarship.


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